Another Quickie

by: jessical

Wed Feb 22, 2012 at 04:15:18 AM EST

( - promoted by pfiore8)

From Solnit, one of my favorite essayists and a fine observer of the human condition, a meditation on Occupy:

Occupy might just be the name we've put on a great groundswell of popular outrage and a rebirth of civil society too deep, too broad, to be a movement. A movement is an ocean wave: this is the whole tide turning from Cairo to Moscow to Athens to Santiago to Chicago. Nevertheless, the American swell in this tide involves a delicate alliance between liberals and radicals, people who want to reform the government and campaign for particular gains, and people who wish the government didn't exist and mostly want to work outside the system.  If the radicals should frighten the liberals as little as possible, surely the liberals have an equal obligation to get fiercer and more willing to confront -- and to remember that nonviolence, even in its purest form, is not the same as being nice.
jessical :: Another Quickie
Anyway.  I've been kind of harsh in my condemnation of window breaking as philosophy.  I want a nonviolent movement and I want us to be clear about it.  But I think she goes some distance to framing the matter well.  It wasn't a deep piece, particularly, but I agreed with pretty much all of it (not unusual, when I read Solnit -- I heard her in the mid aughts as I was driving down 19th between the 101 and 5 south through San Francisco, on my way to work, one of those intermintable daily drives, and she described how a person can be rich in loss.  I was smitten, and have been since).

Back to the homework.  

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Another Quickie | 14 comments
Here's hoping... (13.00 / 2)
...that we can pull off the vampire squid.

Thanks - that really is a good essay. (10.00 / 2)
I liked the honor deservedly paid to OOakland:

While the camp was in existence, crime went down 19% in Oakland, a statistic the city was careful to conceal. "It may be counter to our statement that the Occupy movement is negatively impacting crime in Oakland," the police chief wrote to the mayor in an email that local news station KTVU later obtained and released to little fanfare. Pay attention: Occupy was so powerful a force for nonviolence that it was already solving Oakland's chronic crime and violence problems just by giving people hope and meals and solidarity and conversation.

It isn't much of a stretch to say that when presented with a solution, Quan et al went into warp drive to paint it as a problem.

Am I allowed to piggyback? In a brief interview with Mongabay, deep green Nathan Coe discusses matters on the green left that are analogous at least to the Occupy morass. Were I able to express myself better, it would be very much along the lines Coe explores.

Although note that it takes him a couple hundred words to say "We murder to dissect". But that prolixity is an old problem on the left too, maybe one deserving a 10K word essay?

Decline to Sign Ref 74 but vote to approve

the interview and poem... (9.00 / 1)
...were both lovely.  Though I also see some beauty in civilization's thundering filth :}

OK, back to the bent double over books thing.  Particularly when your weekday desk is a bench seat in a sailboat and a little plywood table bolted to the mast :}  Ergonomics are not us.

[ Parent ]
Keep on rockin (7.00 / 2)
I see you lashed to the mast.

Decline to Sign Ref 74 but vote to approve

[ Parent ]
that makes you and pf (9.00 / 1)
...the sirens.  

Its pouring rain in o-town tonight.  Best time to be on the boat: late at night, heater running, water beating down against the deck, gentle rocking in the wind.  If I didn't need to walk up to the car in this freezing cold wet shit in a minute (and pull my shoes over my giant feet) it would be an idyll of sorts.

[ Parent ]
From my exile in the desert, (8.00 / 2)
it sounds a little like heaven. My happiest memories have a soundtrack of water in motion.

Decline to Sign Ref 74 but vote to approve

[ Parent ]
i love the beach. (8.50 / 2)
get sick on boats rocking in the wind though...

but the wind, both sound and feel; the smell of water and the sound of it always hitting back on shore... i sleep like a baby. all ills melt away. walking alone at 6ish in the morning with the dogs (my dog Sam and sister's dog Bonnie on Matunuck Beach RI in the 1990s before the sea overtook the homes on the private beach there) was my favorite time.

we had this view (an internet photo)... but in back of our place was Card's Pond... it was ideal.


in fact, we were right next to Theatre by the Sea

simplify... writing in the rAw

[ Parent ]
i think he's right. (14.00 / 1)
in fact, i've been playing around with writing about abolishing health care as we know it.

why? because it leads me to this: we become what we fear. we have become a culture of death... it's all about death.

and health care is mainly to correct bad choices (even if they were not ours to begin with)

i say fuck health care as it is marketed now. it is a carrot on a stick. and it promotes a drug induced culture. it is no good. imo.

we need to revert to sustainable ideas: keeping soil, air, and water unpolluted. investing in the integrity of these sources of life. take all that money, all those resources and put them into sustainability.

not into creatures like us who have a blink-of-an-eye life span. but into livable ventures that creatures like us can live in with better health.

health care (except for dental/eye/and mending broken bones etc) is another poisonous exercise ... leaving us toxic and further polluting mother earth.

simplify... writing in the rAw

[ Parent ]
there's nothing quite like being close to an industry (7.00 / 1) start me muttering about its manipulative power over the means of production :}  

I really think if we could just lower, y'know, the overall shithead level, we could have a liveable society in the US.  And the same for the world. There would still be too many of us, we'd still be up against resource constraints (though I think he's a little wrong about that: when pressed, I suspect our technological civilization will figure out a way to eat more stored energy in carbon -- for a good while to come.  Albeit by turing everything else to shit).  But if we just stopped being shitheads, then we'd only have a few draconian and existential truths to face, instead having so many we're damn near addicted...

[ Parent ]
I'm glad PF re-opened this joint. (8.00 / 2)

me too. (19.00 / 1)
love and blogs are lovelier the second time around.

simplify... writing in the rAw

[ Parent ]
Very proud (8.00 / 1)
of how the OWSers in my area operated.  The occupation of the local park just ended a week or so ago after a court order to vacate (but the court decision did make it clear that they had a legitimate political purpose in being there and weren't just loitering).  But the city did not evict everybody immediately - luckily quite a few city councilors were sympathetic to the movement.  Quite a few people in the encampment were homeless and the local shelters are currently filled to capacity.  The city and the Occupiers worked together to make sure these people got a place to live before peacefully removing all the tents.  Back at it when the weather warms up again!

There was a tiny bit of violence during the Occupation however.  At one of the nightly meetings those in attendance decided to clean up the park the next morning.  One OWSer woke up and decided to play reveille by pounding on his drum at about 7:00 AM to wake up the rest of the camp.  One of his compatriots was not amused and put a hammer through his drum and the would-be percussionist got a glancing hammer blow to the head during the ensuing brief altercation.  

I know I really shouldn't laugh but....  

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